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NBA playoff watch thread: rooting against the Warriors’ rivals

The Cavaliers, Thunder, and Rockets play tonight. Lots of opportunity for slander!

NBA: Playoffs-Indiana Pacers at Cleveland Cavaliers David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Warriors have an extra day off due to travel to San Antonio, so tonight we’ll be watching the rest of the NBA duke it out. Let’s hope for some good games and some hard times for our greatest rivals.

Pacers at Cavaliers, 4:00 PM PST on TNT

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers finally lost a first round playoff game, and look increasingly vulnerable. They face a must-win Game 2, so expect LeBron to try to dominate this game early. The Cavs are facing a solid Pacers team led by All-Star Victor Oladipo which won’t beat themselves.

I’m confident Cleveland will score much better than they did in Game 1. But can they play good enough defense to secure the W? I still see the Cavs advancing past this round, but it could be extremely close for them.

Jazz at Thunder, 6:00 PM PST on NBA TV

The Thunder are up 1-0 on the Jazz thanks to Paul George’s amazing shooting in Game 1 (Playoff P!). Good offense beat good defense, and the Jazz simply don’t have the offensive upside of most playoff teams.

But I do think the Jazz will steal this game in Oklahoma City. Their defense really is elite, and Quin Snyder has some tricks up his pocket. I still think OKC probably wins this series, though, and I’d be excited to see them take on the Rockets in the next round.

Timberwolves at Rockets, 6:30 PM PST on TNT

Even though they narrowly won the first game, the Rockets seem destined to win this series. Even if James Harden doesn’t get much help offensively, the Wolves don’t have an answer to stop him.

But the Wolves have the talent to win a couple games this series. If Coach Tom Thibodeau actually feeds his best two players—Karl-Anthony Towns and Jimmy Butler—instead of giving touches to the supporting cast, the Wolves can keep up offensively. But this cannot happen:

Let’s settle in for another night of playoff basketball. Root for maximum chaos!

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